Italy 2 vs Georgia 0

September 10, 2008

De Rossi scored in the 17th minute at Friuli stadium, sending his shot into the upper corner of the net and out of the reach of Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Loria. The AS Roma midfielder scored again in the 88th on a low shot from inside the box.

“It’s great to win when you’re struggling,” Italy coach Marcello Lippi said. “In a month we’ll be back in better condition.”
Italy, which next plays at Bulgaria on Oct. 11, has won its last 11 home World Cup qualifiers and has 36 victories and four draws at home.
Italy controlled the match from start to finish, but was unable to convert the chances it created in front of the Georgian net until De Rossi scored his second goal with two minutes left. The Georgian defense, anchored by AC Milan’s Kakha Kaladze, stymied Italy’s preferred approach, which was long crosses that sought striker Luca Toni.

Kaladze wore a black armband to remember the victims in his country’s recent war with Russia.
Antonio Di Natale, playing in front of his home fans, failed to find the back of the net after scoring Italy’s two goals in the first World Cup qualifying match against Cyprus. His best chance before being substituted early in the second half came in the 15th when his shot deflected off a Georgia defender and rolled just wide of the net.

Georgia came close to scoring in the 25th when Levan Mchedlidze fed Levan Kenia a perfect low cross that beat the Italian defense, but Kenia bumbled the kick.


Wales 1 Russia 2

September 10, 2008

In Moscow, substitute Pavel Pogrebnyak scored a second-half winner Wednesday to give Russia a 2-1 victory over Wales.

Roman Pavlyuchenko scored from the penalty spot to put Russia ahead in the 22nd minute after Carl Robinson fouled Konstantin Zyryanov.

Joe Ledley equalized on a sharp counterattack in the 67th, connecting with Gareth Bale’s cross from the right.

Russia vs Wales

France 2 Serbia 1

September 10, 2008

In St-Denis, France, Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka scored second-half goals to give France a 2-1 victory over Serbia in a World Cup qualifying match, relieving the pressure on coach Raymond Domenech.

Henry gave France the lead in the 54th minute, and Anelka added another 10 minutes later. Branislav Ivanovic headed a goal back for Serbia in the 76th after France again failed to properly defend a corner.

Henry scored his 46th international goal after collecting a pass from Sidney Govou inside the penalty area and poking the ball inside the right post. Anelka showed great composure and an eye for goal when he cut inside his marker and sent a low shot past goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.

France and Serbia both have three points from two matches in Group 7 – which also includes Lithuania, Austria, Romania and the Faeroe Islands.

The French lost to Austria 3-1 on Saturday, and Domenech was expected to lose his job if France failed again in front of a hostile Stade de France crowd.

Serbia had easily contained France in the first half, but the hosts showed greater speed and determination after the interval, with Anelka a big threat, and Yoann Gourcuff providing a steady stream of clever passes for the forwards.
The win will come as a relief for Domenech. He has been fighting to keep his job since France’s exit from the European Championship, and he was loudly booed when the teams were announced.


Finland 3 Germany 3

September 10, 2008

Jonatan Johansson
Miroslav Klose
Mika Vayrynen
Miroslav Klose
Daniel Sjolund
Miroslav Klose


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